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Two men arrested as five cannabis factories found in four counties

By Nevin Farrell

Published 21/09/2015

Police arrested two men over the weekend after smashing five cannabis factories that contained more than £1.5m of the drug
Police arrested two men over the weekend after smashing five cannabis factories that contained more than £1.5m of the drug

Police arrested two men over the weekend after smashing five cannabis factories that contained more than £1.5m of the drug.

Detectives from the Reactive and Organised Crime Branch arrested men aged 33 and 34 in Newry on Saturday evening and Portadown yesterday morning.

The cannabis factories were discovered over the past year across four counties, at Carrickmore, Millisle, Magherafelt, Cookstown and Portadown.

Detective Inspector Andy Dunlop said: "We have been conducting Operation Solaro for over a year in conjunction with our colleagues in An Garda Siochana.

"Solaro is a Northern Ireland-wide investigation into cannabis cultivation which stretches to the Irish Republic.

"We have already charged a number of people in connection with the discoveries.

"Criminals should be aware that we are not satisfied simply seizing their drugs and arresting whoever we find tending to the plants.

"We conduct thorough investigations in our efforts to identify everyone involved - to ensure we ultimately have the right people before the courts".

Also yesterday, detectives searched a house in Greysteel, Co Londonderry, and arrested a 41-year-old man on suspicion of importation and conspiracy to supply Class C drugs.

Police said the arrest was linked to the seizure of a significant quantity of suspected steroids which were en route to an address in Greysteel.

In the search of this address, more suspected steroids were seized, along with documentation.

Detective Inspector Tom McClure said: "Once again we are grateful to our partners in the NCA (National Crime Agency) for their timely assistance in this intervention.

"The PSNI is committed to policing the threat posed by drugs in Northern Ireland and will continue to work with our colleagues in NCA and elsewhere in relation to detecting those involved in the illegal supply of drugs."

It was the second seizure within the last month in respect of the supply of steroids in the north west.

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